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Thursday, November 27, 2008

What I'm Thankful For

Whenever anyone has asked me what is the thing I fear the most, it isn't airplanes or sharks or spiders or boogeymen or what have you. The thing that I fear more than anything is losing someone that I love. I've been relatively lucky in my life, and I haven't had to face the loss of a loved one on any sort of large scale. Sure, I have had two grandparents pass away (and a third passed before I was born), but I was too young to be seriously affected and they were both old enough to have lived long, happy lives. I've also attended my fair share of funerals, but that is what happens when you have an extended family as large as mine.

In the spring of my sophomore year of college, but roommate's mother passed away. When that happened, I realized a serious fact: someday, I would be saying goodbye to my own parents, and it could happen sooner than I realized. My parents were 40 years old when I was born. They were receiving AARP magazines when I was still in elementary school. I should have known before then, but it really took seeing someone else lose a parent that really made it sink in. Since then, I have worried when my mother travels. I hate her being behind the wheel of a car for a drive as long as the one to Florida, or even Ocean City. I worry about her heart, her weight, her possibility of becoming diabetic. If I even think about the fact that I will probably attend her funeral, I get choked up.

Then, of course, there is Todd. The truly scary thing about bringing someone into your life to love is that same fear of loss. When we were first together, I worried about losing him in the normal fashion that you lose boyfriends - fighting, lack of interest, other women, whatever. Our relationship has grown past that, though, and I know that we'll be together for a long, long time. That is, of course, unless something far worse happens. And so, I breathe a sigh of relief every time I get that text message that says that he is past the finish line at a marathon. I am happy when he is safe at the end of his too-long commute (since driving is far more dangerous than any of the other "dangerous" things that we do). I am grateful for each and every night that he is safe at home and in bed beside me.

When my friend passed away a couple weeks ago at only 44 years old, you can imagine how upset his widow was. He was my soulmate, she said to us, we've been together since 1984... how am I going to make it without him? She handled herself so well, and yet it was heartwrenching to watch her living my nightmare. It only served to renew my fears.

And so, instead of the usual, "I am thankful for my iPod!" type thanksgiving messages, I would like to have a much deeper message. I am thankful for every single day that I get to spend with those people who are most dear to me.
  • I am thankful for the millions of emails I get from the UMBC folks about James Bond and writing contests.
  • I am thankful for my running friends, even when they whine about how many miles they're running and how many hills they are climbing.
  • I am thankful for Jim, and that he not mad that I said I am going to slap the chicken wings out of his hands the next time I see him with one.
  • I am thankful for my mother, and I'm thankful that she's come to understand and accept why I did some of the things that I've done recently.
  • I am thankful for my sisters and brother, who have loved and supported me for 30 years, no matter what.
  • I am thankful for The Bug, even though he somehow picked up a habit of biting my ankles while I am making dinner.
  • I am thankful for Dave, and the fact that we are still good friends.
  • And I am thankful for Todd, who never ceases to make me happy.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Please give your loved ones a hug and tell them how much they mean to you. Every single day with them is precious.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Thanks Kim! We're thankful for you too!

Gobble Gobble! Or whatever noise the fish equivalent of Turkey makes off the coast of British Honduras.

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